US funding al Queda? Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by Jag Singh, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Mar 1, 2007 at 8:35 pm
According to Seymour Hersh’s explosive new article in the New Yorker Magazine, it now appears that our tax dollars are being used to fund our arch nemesis, al-Queda. US Covert actions, devoid of any Congressional oversight, include funding radical Sunni groups with possible ties to al Queda, to counterbalance Shiite groups supported by Iran. This grotesque strategy bears a strong resemblance to the US illegal funding of the Contras by revenue generated by illegal arms shipments to Iran during the Reagan years! The Pentagon has been running amuck for years planning covert and clandestine operations under the radar of Congressional and public scrutiny, invariably with disastrous results. It is time to reign in these illegal activities which is raising the ire of much of the world. These new covert operations are certain to inflame the majority of Shias in Iraq and possibly provoke the Saudis to come to the aid of the minority Sunnis in Iraq thus widening the conflict and further destabilizing the whole Middle East.
Posted by Robin, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Mar 2, 2007 at 10:00 am
Our mainstream media are criminally negligent and seem to dwell on pitting Americans against Americans, many of our citizens are brutalized by poverty and unable to follow and react to current events, our most elite universities often silence debate, and we're probably not doing enough to protect whistleblowers and dissenters.
No wonder neither our leaders nor our fellow countrymen can be trusted with an estimated 500-600 billion dollar annual budget for war and covert operations.
Posted by Carol, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2007 at 11:45 am
We subscribe to the New Yorker, simply for Seymour Hersh.
Finally, the blundering belligerents in this administration have frightened so many establishment figures that Wolf Blitzer interviewed Sy Hersh on CNN. I hope for more coverage of our bizarre foreign interventions in the mainstream media, because many established interests have been severely damaged. It appears that few anticipated how much damage the war in Iraq and Afghanistan would do to American prestige and power around the world. Dumping of dollars for euros has underlined the financial quicksands we're in.
Friends of ours who work for the DOD are frightened, and do not know where to turn.
Both major political parties are complicit in this mess and both cling to their learned helplessness.
We have all learned to be helpless - voters, too. (I was impressed, and shamed, when Mexico's voters poured into the streets to protest electoral fraud. I can't imagine us doing half so much.)
Our elected Democratic representatives, among the most powerful people in the world, told us that they couldn't do anything until they had a majority. Now some of them are telling us they can't do anything until we elect them President. (We should tell them that if they don't get working in 2007, don't bother us in 2008.)
We should promise our newspapers that, if they concentrate on reporting what's happening now, we will patronize their advertisers and tell them where we saw the ads. We should ask them to stop boring us with speculation about 2008. And gossipy Op-Eds, focused on the presidential candidates. That's a greyhound race, mechanical rabbit and all.
Posted by Carol, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2007 at 2:22 pm
Robin, read the entire article Jay Singh is talking about. Wallis is being suckered by the same people who have made murderous fools of our own government. We have made one destructive bargain after another with the Saudi royals. We are being used by "Muslim" autocrats and hypocrites as useful tools in their war on Shia muslims.
We could be in danger from a muslim country if we continue to be so stone stupid. If we had not overthrown Mossadegh, we would not have anything to fear from Iran.
Posted by Carol, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2007 at 4:48 pm
There's very little analysis in Hersh's article; it's reporting. He's been to Lebanon, and talked to Nasrallah.
The Shia (10% of Islam) were kicked about for centuries before Zionism even existed. The Saudi royals have also played the Palestinians, against their own best interests.
Don't fall into the same pit of anger and hatred that trapped Wallis.
Palestinians and Israelis both have nowhere else to go. We should be helping them to make peace where they are. Either both survive or neither.
(You may have no idea how badly Palestinians have been treated in Kuwait. Egypt wouldn't take Gaza back, even with oil, because it doesn't want Palestinians. In the six-day war, Egypt wouldn't let the Palestinian soldiers "mix" with the Egyptian. Doesn't that sound familiar? The Jordanian rulers are Hashemite, and many of the refugees in the West Bank were thrown out of Jordan, which is 70% Palestinian, but not ruled by Palestinians.)
I believe our most important institutions, such as gov't, media, schools, judiciary, etc., have been systematically corrupted for many decades now by a very powerful, very wealthy, very ruthless cabal of criminals, and that Bush and Cheney are nothing more than their useful idiots, their frontmen, their patsies set up to take the fall.
Given the amount of access Hersh has to information and media, I question if he isn't indeed working for this cabal, too, doing his best to obscure who the real criminals are.
Posted by Carol, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2007 at 8:49 pm
that's not what Hersh reported. He reports an "off the books" operation in progress, similar to Iran-Contra.
He's not reporting that the Administration is clever; he describes them as dupes of the Saudi royal, especially of Prince Bandar.
The people who attacked us are 15 Saudis and 4 Pakistanis. They are dead. The funding for the pilots who flew into the WTC was traced to the head of Pakistani intelligence. That's no secret; it's public knowledge. Did you watch the hearings on 9/11?
Somehow, emotional reactions seem to produce public amnesia.
Posted by justincase, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2007 at 11:57 pm
See thats the thing, jet liners did not have to fly into building 7 for it to collapse. I know conspiracy theories are a lot more fun and machiavelian, so believe what you want. I am not here to spoil your fun.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 4, 2007 at 3:37 am
I refer to radical Islam as our enemy because they are killing us and threatening us. I challenge so called moderate Islam to stop their radical brethren just as Christianity coralled the KKK.
Anyone interested can check the back issues of Engineering News-Record for the professional analysis of the WTC and Building 7 collapses. They might even check when asbestos structural fireproofing was outlawed.
Muslim nations don't attack as nations because they fear retaliation, but they, including the Saudi, abet the atacks on us by encouraging Jihad talk and sheltering jihad action.
Posted by Carol, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 4, 2007 at 9:19 am
Here's the interview on CNN (courtesy of Youtube)Web Link
We were attacked by a few Sunni Moslems; we are making war on mostly Shia. Iran, Hezbollah, both Shia. With the aid of extreme Salafi Muslims, just like the groups that bombed us.
(Robin, you're living in the same bubble as the ardent Zionists. All of you under the sway of emotion and impervious to facts.)
John Negroponte, Ambassador to Honduras during Iran-Contra, just resigned as Director of National Intelligence because of the current off-the-books activities (coordinated by Saudi Arabia, the Iraqi Kurds, with the Israelis.). He stepped down to become Undersecretary of State, hoping that he could put some sort of brake on these actions without being dragged into another Iran-Contra.
Posted by don, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 4, 2007 at 9:46 am
robin, If you can document your claim that the U.S.gov. is run by a secret, criminal cabal of, let's face it ZIONISTS, I'll happily donate $15,000.00 to you or any charity of your choice! Fact checking with ann coulter or the protocols of the elders of Zion don't count, sorry.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 4, 2007 at 12:50 pm
Building 7 collapsed because the fire in the basement, fed by the diesel fuel for the emergency generators there, could not be effectively fought within the 4-hour time frame of effectiveness of sructural steel fireproofing. Access to the scene and water pressure had both been impaired by the collapse of 1 & 2.
The investigation of these building collapses has been thorough and open. "Yet Zionists are desperate to pin the blame of the WTC 7 collapse on Arabs, and the engineers they have assembled who endorse this fairytale are bought-and-paid-for-lowlifes." I am waiting for my first check, Robin. Engineers are not like lawyers.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 4, 2007 at 3:34 pm
Ask him. However it sounds like he was told that the fight was losing ground and that continuing fire fighting would not save the building but would put the firefighters at greater risk. The only thing within his power to pull was fire fighting effort. To suggest otherwise is prima facie evidence of lack of Occam - or something.
Posted by Robin, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Mar 4, 2007 at 4:41 pm
Neither FEMA nor NIST have explained the collapse of WTC 7.
NIST anticipates that it will release a draft report of its 3-year, $24-million investigation into the structural failure and progressive collapse of several WTC structures, including WTC 7 in early 2007.
Posted by Carol, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 4, 2007 at 6:48 pm
Iraq did not attack us; neither did Afghanistan. In any case, it's only in the newspapers that we make war on countries. In reality, we make war on civilians, and call it "collateral damage".
Our government, with our passive consent, killed innocent civilians while continuing to plot and scheme with the very people who had funded the attacks: Pakistani intelligence and Saudi royal princes.
None of these countries have a representative government. At the moment, neither do we. Our "President" has said that he will continue to make war, no matter what the American people want. I believe he thought it was a joke, and so it was reported by most of the press.
All those innocent Iraqis and Afghanis killed. Surely you don't want more blood.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 4, 2007 at 8:41 pm
The invasion of Iraq was a continuation of the UN approved war to repell the Iraq invasion of Kuwait. The re-invasion was occasioned by the continuous violation of the conditions of the truce and the continuing attempts to kill American pilots.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 5, 2007 at 6:38 am
It was not armchair speculation but the concensus of the profession that long ago brought changes to the design process based on the lessons from the WTC. The final report is a compilation of those reports that have circulated in the community for years. My half century engineering, mostly in construction, hardly is armchair.
Posted by justincase, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 5, 2007 at 11:36 am
This is pretty fundamental but please don’t take it as a flippant remark.
Gravity is the main force these buildings are trying to overcome.
If a structure is on a failing foundation, it might lean on the way down. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a classic foundation / soils failure. If a structure suffers a force like wind, or an earth quake, the building might not fall straight down. If a structure faces a non-uniform failure, its path might not be straight down.
That’s not the case with these buildings, their failure was pretty uniform.
In the case of all these towers, the fundamental flaw in them were the steel clips that held the steel beams in place, As the heat warped them, the supports that they were anchoring failed. Those clips turned out to be a poor design because in the fire suppression system failure, they are vulnerable. Its heat that causes the failure, not flame. You don’t have to have flame to have intense heat.
To collapse the building, all you needed was a single floor failure; the weight of the floors above it caused the cascading collapse effect you see in your videos.
As for building seven and with the towers, the main cause of the failure will probably be heat. The other buildings that fell in the same location would have also possibly weakened building 7.
Why is it taking them so long? A failure like this is going to effect building codes; I doubt you will see the same clipping method used again. Also for insurance reasons, it is important to get the reasons right. Since the failure was so catastrophic the forensics are complicated, so theories have to be put forward and discussed. They will also want to determine the fuels that were present to reconsider the storage of these materials in an occupied building.
There are only a few thousand structural engineers for the entire state of California. The quantity of engineers that get to design and build skyscrapers is even smaller. For example a lot of the buildings in L.A. that required structural engineering were designed by a single small firm of about 40 people including support staff. I mention this to illustrate the people resources that will do this sort of work are not that plentiful, so that will also contribute to how long it takes to do the analysis.
Anyway that’s about enough from me, I’ll go back to work now.
Posted by Robin, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Mar 5, 2007 at 5:00 pm
You must not be a structural engineer either.
Are you aware that "NIST released a progress report in June 2004, outlining its working hypothesis, which was that a local failure in a critical column, caused by damage from either fire or falling debris from the collapses of the two towers, progressed first vertically and then horizontally to result in "a disproportionate collapse of the entire structure". In a New York magazine interview in March 2006, Dr S. Shyam Sunder, NIST's lead WTC disaster investigator, said, of 7 World Trade Center, "We are studying the horizontal movement east to west, internal to the structure, on the fifth to seventh floorsâ€ť; he added "But truthfully, I donâ€™t really know. Weâ€™ve had trouble getting a handle on Building No. 7".
Let's be serious here: Why is your explanation of the WTC7 collapse unlike NIST's working hypothesis of the collapse?
Are you referencing a different 24-million-dollar investigation?
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 5, 2007 at 8:26 pm
Robin, what is your field of expertise? I might guess, but that would spoil the fun.
Incidentally, the structural engineer for the towers early on acknowledged the failure mode noted correctly above. I assume you can explain how to protect the wiring and demolition charges during hours of fire, then have them function on command? Patent your secret and make a mint.
Posted by justincase, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2007 at 12:12 am
What you are looking at is a bunch of soil bearing failures. The structure is failing because the soil under the foundation is failing. So these are examples of failures, but these occurred in a severe earthquake and are classic liquefaction. The Marina area experienced some of this in the Loma Prieta Earthquake. Sandy soil or uncompacted fill is a reason for this.
These are not equivalent structural failures to WTC however.
Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Mar 7, 2007 at 11:23 pm
Gotta hand it Walter on this one. Still curious about Robin's answer to that last question. How DID the wiring and explosives last through hours of fire and intense heat? Or any other conspiracy theorist want to take that one?
Posted by Silver Bullet, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 8, 2007 at 3:41 pm
How is Robin's implication that the Jews are to blame for 9/11 less inflamatory that the postings "Citizen" made in the thread about the illegal immigration raids? Seriously.
Arguing with the "Jewish Conspiracy" set is an excercise in futilty. Its like the Kobayashi Mauru scenario in Star Trek. I mean really, if people are smart enough to pull off this conspiracy, which would have required an army of covert operators to wire the buildings for demo, would Larry Silverstein likely be dumb enough to out the entire plan? He may have said that the decision was made to "pull" the building, but don't you think he meant it like they "pulled" the Alfred Murrah building in OKC? It wasn't structurally safe anymore.
Robin - if his name wasn't "Silverstein," "Levinson," "Cohen," do you think the Jewish Conspiracy fans would seize upon that tiny little quotation? Why did you attack the author of the Popular Mechanics piece? Because his last name is "Chertoff" and he's related to Michael Chertoff who happens to be Jewish.
This is just my opinion, but people who advance this theory are either A) Misguided and ill-informed or B) hate Jewish people.